To strengthen maritime security, India and the United States have agreed to implement the programme for Helicopter Operations from Ships other Than Aircraft Carriers (HOSTAC), the Pentagon has said.
A decision in this regard was taken by Defense Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and her US Counterpart Jim Mattis duringtheir meeting in Philippines on Wednesday on the sidelines of the ASEAN Defense Ministers' Meeting-Plus.
"The two emphasized the importance of strengthening maritime security cooperation, and, in support of thisobjective, decided to implement the program for Helicopter Operations from Ships other Than Aircraft Carriers (HOSTAC)," the Pentagon Spokesperson Dana W White said.
Sitharaman and Mattis "agreed on the importance of a rules-based international order" in which all nations are ableto prosper, and the "need to work together" against the common threat of terrorism, White said.
They discussed a range of initiatives to strengthen US- India defense cooperation and enhance India's leadership rolein the Indo-Pacific, White said. This was their second meeting in less than a month. Mattis had travelled to India late last month.
"This is a moment of strategic convergence for the US and India," White told reporters at a Pentagon news conference.